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Made In America (original 1994; edition 1998)
by Bill Bryson
Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson (1994)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380713810, Paperback)Readers from Toad Suck, Arkansas, to Idiotsville, Oregon--and everywhere in between--will love Made in America, Bill Bryson's Informal History of the English Language in the United States. It is, in a word, fascinating. After reading this tour de force, it's clear that a nation's language speaks volumes about its true character: you are what you speak. Bryson traces America's history through the language of the time, then goes on to discuss words culled from everyday activities: immigration, eating, shopping, advertising, going to the movies, and others.
Made in America will supply you with interesting facts and cocktail chatter for a year or more. Did you know, for example, that Teddy Roosevelt's "speak softly and carry a big stick" credo has its roots in a West African proverb? Or that actor Walter Matthau's given name is Walter Mattaschanskayasky? Or that the supposedly frigid Puritans--who called themselves "Saints," by the way--had something called a pre-contract, which was a license for premarital sex? Made in America is an excellent discussion of American English, but what makes the book such a treasure is that it offers much, much more.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)
Traces America's history through language & culture.
(summary from another edition)
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